expecˈtation – noun
1. belief about (or mental picture of) the future
2. anticipating with confidence of fulfillment
3. the feeling that something is about to happen
I think all of us initially come to this subject with expectations (or as stated above, confidence in the fulfillment of our mental pictures of the future). Obviously having goals is one thing, but expectations are another – the problem is the time lines we set and the source of our expectations.
For instance, what if you expect to make money trading in two years, but in actuality (and unknown to you) it will take five? Surely after two years a thought will enter your head such as “this is not working out how I hoped…”
No wonder – your hopes had no connection to reality.
Even more bizarre, considering the above, is that I imagine almost everyone that gets involved in this subject expects to make money immediately. If you expect to make money immediately, but in reality it takes five years to learn to trade with consistency, then of course blown accounts and negative emotions are virtually guaranteed.
Non of us that wash out are smart – we are dumb. If we were smart, we would demo trade (or make use of facilities such as micro accounts) UNTIL we could actually trade profitably, no matter how many years it took.
Are you able to demo trade for five years? I can hear you now – “no freekin’ way!!!”
Why not? Of course, because you have PLANS don’t you? You have OTHER THINGS that you need to press on with that are dependent on your success in trading; in fact these plans of yours are already LATE due to the unexpected delays you hit with this little ‘ole thing called the Stock Market.
What was it? Quit your job, pay off a debt, new car, beach house by the sea, exotic holiday, help your parents in their old age, total financial freedom from the wage slave arena?
These two things combined, unrealistic expectations + unrelated desires are pure poison to any chance of success you have. I can see that now – I have actually looked within and SEEN the cobwebs of unrelated desires and unrealistic expectations that in fact have nothing to do with the reality of trading. Thats the truly amazing thing; these issues are actually NOT CONNECTED to the subject, they are things that are hanging around it in your head like moths around a flame.
So what to do? Somehow, this subject and this practice of trading needs to be mentally separated out into its own space and be unconnected to anything else, otherwise we are dragging all of this dead weight behind us. The term “mental purity” was a phrase coined by the West Coast trading desk by the Enron traders used to describe the state whereby they have nothing unconscious infecting their trading decisions (such as morals and a conscience in their case! See the book Smartest Guys in the Room – a brilliant read).
Its a good term – somehow we need to achieve mental purity (be free from murky motives and unconscious unrealistic expectations).